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Skills-Based Hiring: What You Need to Know

Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
Aug 10, 2022 at 7:28 PM

The term "skills-based hiring" has become popular in the HR industry. Does this imply that we will no longer focus hiring practices on skills? Are there any visible advantages for employers and workers? Let's find out more.


Skills-based hiring vs degree-based hiring

The idea behind skills-based hiring is simple. It's a hiring strategy that emphasises a candidate's performance and practical skills more than their official qualifications.

Upskilling and reskilling take precedence over reference checking and "pedigree". It is why skills-based hiring extends far beyond tech recruitment, such as the eCommerce and the food industry.

While many jobs still require university degrees, formal certificates, or substantial industry experience, the trend toward prioritising skills more is clear and on the road to fostering the growth of organisations and employees.


The primary benefits of skill-based hiring 

1. Meet more top candidates

Imagine a highly qualified professional taking a glance at your job description. They're about to press the apply button. But then they learn that a university degree is one of the requirements. And because they don't have one, they pass up the chance and move on to meet with another employer.

Pay close attention to these angles and make sure that the top active and passive talents are aware of the skill you are really after.


2. Save more time and money

The hiring procedure lasts longer than two months in one in five businesses. That is long. But as soon as you broaden your talent pool through skill-based hiring, you'll likely discover and hire the best candidate much more quickly.


3. Improve employee retention

Organisations with a good employer reputation prove to candidates that they respect their skills above all else by using skills-based hiring.

According to LinkedIn data, professionals without a four-year degree often work 34% longer than those with one.

By better matching candidates with openings, you will also decrease turnover rates. You're more likely to discover a candidate whose talents meet the particular criteria of the job when you hire based on skills. This enhances job satisfaction and performance and results in a better fit between the worker and the role.


4. Promote diversity and build a great company culture

You can foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace by relying more on skills than degrees when making hiring decisions.

Some people may not be able to afford postsecondary education, but that doesn't mean they can't get the necessary skills. With skills-based recruiting, you can confidently hire prospects from different backgrounds and ensure they have the skills needed for the job.


Skills-based hiring: Best practices

1. Start small

Start with open positions with the highest turnover rates and time-to-hire. Then, you can discover the root cause, such as the skills gap, and test a new hiring approach.


2. Rewrite the job descriptions

The hiring process begins with job descriptions. HR experts recommend rewriting the job descriptions to help applicants focus on competencies, merits, and skills.

LinkedIn says job descriptions highlighting responsibilities instead of formal prerequisites receive 14% more incoming resumes per view. Therefore, change the "Requirements" block to "Responsibilities" to reflect a candidate's actual responsibilities.

Focus more on the results you wish to achieve when defining your requirements.  For instance, highlight the quantitative KPIs for a job role or the actionable results you want to see from candidates.


3. Prioritise skills

Use skills-based assessments and coding tests once you've decided to go toward a hiring strategy based on candidates' soft and hard skills.

Leave the candidate's credentials, employment history, and recommendations alone. Skills-based hiring aims to assess candidates' current job-related talents without excluding too many candidates due to irrelevant work experience or a lack thereof.


Skills-based hiring is the leading trend and a great way to bolster your organisation's competencies. Hiring to acquire a specific set of skills is an excellent way to upgrade your recruitment tactics, trim the processes, conserve resources, and speak out to prospects more effectively. Also, it benefits you internally and over time. 

If you require the services of a professional recruitment agency that can handle every element that makes this strategy effective and efficient, this is your magic link to success.